Author(s): Jeevanandam M, Kannan R, Srinivasalu S, Rammohan V
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Abstract The Lower Ponnaiyar River Basin forms an important groundwater province in South India constituted by Tertiary formations dominated by sandstones and overlain by alluvium. The region enjoyed artesian conditions 50 years back but at present frequent failure of monsoon and over exploitation is threatening the aquifer. Further, extensive agricultural and industrial activities and urbanization has resulted in the increase in demand and contamination of the aquifer. To identify the sources and quality of groundwater, water samples from 47 bore wells were collected in an area of 154 km2 and were analysed for major ions and trace metals. The results reveal that the groundwater in many places is contaminated by higher concentrations of NO3, Cl, PO4 and Fe. Four major hydrochemical facies Ca-Mg-Cl, Na-Cl, Ca-HCO3 and Na-HCO3 were identified using Piper trilinear diagram. Salinity, sodium adsorption ratio, and sodium percentage indicate that most of the groundwater samples are not suitable for irrigation as well as for domestic purposes and far from drinking water standards. The most serious pollution threat to groundwater is from nitrate ions, which are associated with sewage and fertilizers application. The present state of the quality of the lower part of Ponnaiyar River Basin is of great concern and the higher concentration of toxic metals (Fe and Ni) may entail various health hazards.
This article was published in Environ Monit Assess
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering